A successful FORESTERRA call for ideas

The research project ideas received were very diverse in terms of their research scope and disciplines involved, geographical scale of study, tree species, forest ecosystem processes as well as products and services addressed. In addition, many of the research project ideas covered two and even three of the Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda (MFRA) priorities, which makes their classification according to MFRA a challenge. In any case, the table below reflects an attempt to map the project ideas within the MFRA priorities.

 MFRA research priority

 Nr of research project ideas

Impact of climate and land-use change on Mediterranean forest ecosystems functioning


Integration of the risk of forest fires in land-use and landscape planning and management


Policy, economic and institutional aspects for sustainable provision of forest goods and services


Forest and woodlands in the context of integrated management of land resources


A synthesis

Even if summarizing the research ideas received is not an easy task, see below a short synthesis:
Most of the proposals remarked the need for multidisciplinary research to address emerging scientific challenges, although truly multidisciplinary research teams were not reflected in the composition of most partnerships. From the research ideas received, there was a wide consensus on the need to improve the understanding of the drivers and impacts of climate, land-use, socio-economic and environmental changes on forest ecosystems composition, structure and functioning, and their capacity to deliver key goods and services

Several proposals emphasised the need for integrating knowledge for developing adaptive measures (from restoration to management) to foster the resilience (and biodiversity) of forest ecosystems and the services they provide and several others focused on the need for scientific knowledge as basis for the sustainable management of multi-purpose trees and landscapes (agro-silvo-pastoral interface) to enhance the role of non-wood products in rural development.

Some research project ideas identified the need for further knowledge regarding policy, institutional and socio-economic aspects and motivation of stakeholders related to payments for environmental services and their implication for their design. Finally, EFIMED contribution to the call for ideas was on the need for improved and integrated knowledge on water and forest interactions at different scales. Such topic was also partially addressed as a cross-cutting issue by several proposals.

Next steps

Given the high number of relevant research project ideas received, a selection of a set proposals for its presentation during the EFIMED annual meeting in Tunis (13th of June) is not possible. Instead, EFIMED will propose strategic cross-cutting themes (EFIMED Advisory Group is working on it) based on the call for ideas, the MFRA and the FORESTERRA DoW. The idea is to organize in Tunis working groups to discuss and define in more detail the research scope and impacts of the possible strategic research themes that could be the basis for FORESTERRA scientific plan. Therefore, we would like to welcome you to our annual meeting to continue contributing to the FORESTERRA scientific plan. In that context, EFIMED would like to know as soon as possible if you will join the EFIMED annual meeting to participate in such discussions.

After the meeting in Tunis, EFIMED will work on a draft FORESTERRA scientific plan that will be discussed in October with the FORESTERRA Steering Committee as well as key stakeholders. After such consultation the plan will be finalized and it will be the basis for the FORESTERRA research call, which is planned for 2013.

Further information: Marc Palahí, marc.palahi(at)efi.int

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